Rajasthan is an Indian state located on the north-western part of the country. It is the largest (1st) state in India by area and 7th largest with respect to population. The capital of Rajasthan is Jaipur – which is also known as Pink city.
Thar desert – the world’s 17th largest desert occupies a large part of the state on its western end. 60% of this desert lies in Rajasthan and 25% is spread out in other states like Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab, while the remaining 15% lies in Pakistan.
The area in which Rajasthan state lies today was known in ancient history as Matsya kingdom. It was a major site of the Indus Valley Civilization - a Bronze Age civilisation in the north-western regions of South Asia, that lasted from 3300 BCE to 1300 BCE.
In the early medieval period. Many Rajput kingdoms like Pratihars, Chauhans of Ajmer, Sisodias of Mewar, Shekhawats of Shekhawati Sikar, Rathores of Marwar and so on, ruled this land and influenced the Rajput culture that exists here.
Rajasthan has around 19 prominent cities, including – Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Kota, Ajmer, Bikaner, Bhilwara, Sikar, Alwar, Bharatpur.
Buses, taxis, and auto-rickshaws are the main modes of road transport in all cities. The Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (RSRTC) provides the local bus service and connecting the important towns and cities of Rajasthan from adjoining states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab, Himachal, and so on.
Trains and Planes are other modes of transportation used here. The biggest airport in the state is located 10 km away from the state’s capital Jaipur – the Jaipur International Airport, which operates domestic as well as international flights.
There are 8.1 crore (81 million) people in Rajasthan, out of which 88.5% are Hindus, 9.1% are Muslims, 1.3% are Sikhs, and less than 1% are Christians or Jains.
The people in Rajasthan state are known as Rajasthanis – most of them are also known as Marwaris.
Rajasthan has many folk-dance forms and folk music that is popular in North India too. These include – Ghoomar dance, Khalbeliya, Katputhli, Bhopa and Teratali are some examples of folk music and dance forms. These are the essence of Rajasthani culture.
Rajasthan is also famous for its handicrafts that include Block prints, tie and dye prints, Bagaru prints, Sanganer prints and Zari embroidery which are used in various clothing designs across the country.
Marwari is the most-spoken language across Rajasthan and it has 5 prominent dialects - Marwari, Mewari, Dhundhari, Mewati and Harauti along with several other dialects in certain regions.
The second most-spoken language is Hindi.
Rajasthan’s cuisine is a mix of a variety of vegetarian as well as some non-vegetarian dishes which were influenced by the Rajputs who lived here, who are predominantly non-vegetarians.
Some of the popular dishes from Rajasthani cuisine include - Dal Baati Churma, Gatte ki Kadhi, Laal Maas (Red Meat curry), Ghevar, Mawa Kachori, Moong Dal halwa, Bajra Roti with Lehsun (Garlic) Chutney.
Trains, Planes and Buses are major modes of inter-city transportation within Rajasthan. For travel within cities, there are many other modes such as taxi/cabs, buses, and private vehicles like 2-wheelers and cars, or even walking and cycling.
Airports – Rajasthan has 5 domestic airports (and 1 more under construction) connecting to other states and cities in the country, and 1 International airport connecting to cities within the state as well as other parts of the country.
Railway Stations – Rajasthan has a total of 597 train terminals/railway stations (at least one for each city/town, and more than 1 in some big cities) that connect to other cities and towns within the state as well as those in other states in the country. Some of the major train terminals and junctions in the state are:
Bus Terminals – Rajasthan has its own line of state-run RSRTC (Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation) buses which provide the connection between all the cities and towns within the state and also neighbouring states. These buses can be boarded at RSRTC stops/terminals that are available in every division and town in the state. The prominent town/city bus terminals in the state are located in almost every city and town - they can be easily found and are conveniently accessible.
Rajasthan has many ancient forts, monuments and palaces. It is a place known for its royal traditions and is a favorite destination for people who want to get a taste of royalty, or even celebrate weddings and engagements.
Some stunningly beautiful must-see buildings with amazing architecture in Rajasthan include:
Rajasthan also has incredible eco-spots like national parks and hills:
Rajasthan has many great and interesting places that people can travel to or explore; and which are perfect for a short vacation or a weekend getaway, such as –
Some thrilling activities and things to do in Rajasthan for adventure lovers are -
Rajasthan has many historical gems to see. Some popular sites of historical significance in the state are –